Food documentary tells story of workers’ fight for justice

Screening: Food Chains

Iowa Memorial Union, Illinois Room — Thurs., Mar. 31 at 4:30 p.m.

Video still from 'Food Chains' documentary
Video still from ‘Food Chains’ documentary

Florida tomato pickers are the focus of an acclaimed documentary that will screen Thursday for free at the IMU at 4:30 p.m.

Food Chains tells the story of “fair food” and how to produce ethical produce.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), largely immigrant workers in South Florida were living in a kind of modern slavery, often abused or the victims of wage theft. The workers were also sometimes beaten and/or sexually harassed by their employers.

In Food Chains, the CIW fight for justice and stand up to the $4 trillion global supermarket industry and improve working conditions through their Fair Food program.

Jose Oliva, the co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, will be in attendance. His group is a national coalition of “worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.” Oliva will discuss the ongoing push for worker justice and fair food systems.

The documentary is being screened across the country this week, as part of National Farm Worker Awareness Week.

Look familiar? Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate for president, used parts of the documentary for a 5-minute campaign ad, Tenemos Familias.

Sponsored by the UI Labor Center, UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment, UI Latino Native American Cultural Center, UI Human Rights Student Collective, UI Center for Human Rights, UI ALMA, UI Latino/a Studies Minor, LULAC Council 308, Kirkwood Community College and Iowa City Federation of Labor, the event is free and open to the public.

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